We had the good fortune of connecting with Akilah Watts and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Akilah, do you have a budget?
I absolutely have a budget and make sure to live within it. It’s important to get in the habit of living within or below your means in order to grow wealth. If you consistently budget, you know where your money is going and will notice any out of the ordinary spending. I break my personal finances down into necessary spending, savings/investments, and fun money. If I happen to meet a savings goal, I reward myself with something that I’ve been wanting. Also, when spending money, I identify what I want and wait before buying. I heard a story once that if you see something you want, wait for 3-6 months before purchasing. If you come back to that item and still want it, wait another few months. LOL! Or you can purchase knowing you waited and have the money to spend on the item without going into debt.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The business that I’m a part of is one like no other. We are a hybrid structure that gives us corporate backing, the option to open our own offices, and run them as entrepreneurs. We focus on leadership and personal development with an emphasize on the importance of faith and family first. I have so much fun with my team and get to help people with making better choices with their money as well as educating them on tools to help them grow financially. I’m most excited to see my team excelling and expanding. I love that I’m not limited to just California. Being a transplant myself, it’s a tremendous advantage that I’m able to grow a team anywhere in the USA, including Chicago, IL (my hometown), Texas, and Arkansas. I grew up in a single parent home, yet had the loving support of both of my parents. The wisdom that I’ve received from them both has had a positive impact on my life. My mother has always been a positive influence when it comes to managing money, and it amazes me how that preparation from her helped influence me in my profession today as a financial consultant.
As far as challenges are concerned, I just think of them as learning curves. Not to sound cliche, but it’s true, every setback is a setup for a comeback. I’ve had struggles, but that’s part of life and entrepreneurship. The most important thing is that you learn from each trial and continue working. The challenges help build character and can sometimes be lessons that get you through difficult times in your life. It’s all about mental toughness. My father has always given me words of wisdom that I regularly apply to my daily life. One that truly resonates is, “Some will, some won’t, who’s next?” You have to have a thick skin as an entrepreneur because not everyone will back your brand, but don’t let it deter you because there are people actually seeking the services you provide. Stay focused on on your goals, apply action steps as well as great daily habits, and you will accomplish your dreams. I want the world to know that I sincerely care. I love to have fun (never a dull moment with me) and if I can simply provide a family with financial literacy and help them excel financially, I will feel very rewarded. If my life were a movie I’d title it, “Well, I Didn’t See That Coming.” It’s comical in nature, but relatable. I honestly would not have thought that I would end up with a career in the financial industry, but am grateful that the opportunity presented itself to me and look forward to continuing helping families and leaving a legacy of my own.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I refer to myself as the California Adventurer. Let’s do this! I would recommend going hiking. There are so many great trails that are popular like Runyon Canyon and Griffith Park. There’s even an app that can be used to find various trails called All Trails. I highly suggest using it. The beaches here are so beautiful and there are many to choose from. One of my favorite places to go is Venice Beach because it is so lively and full of talented street artists and performers. One of my favorite activities is the drum circle. It’s an absolute blast! I would also take my friend to the amusement park. There are so many great ones depending on one’s level of thrill. We have Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Universal Studios. There is plenty to do. It’s also fun to check out the various museums throughout LA. I love the pop-up museums that appear throughout the year. The standard museums that I’ve found very fun include The Getty, Skirball Cultural Center, The LACMA, Petersen Automotive Museum, and the list goes on and on. I’d also explore Hollywood and maybe catch a show at the El Capitan. As far as food is concerned, I would recommend the Griddle Cafe for trying huge, varied flavors of pancakes. I’d also recommend Lemonade. The food is so fresh and the lemonade is divine. For a yummy dessert, I’d recommend Happy Ice. It’s water ice and is delicious. Of course we’d have to visit the California staples of In & Out Burger, Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles, and Randy’s Donuts. We could also do brunch at a restaurant on Melrose. There are endless possibilities of fun living in LA. We’d run out of time and my friend would have to come back to visit or move here. lol! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shoutout my parents. They’ve supported every venture I’ve participated in from band concerts, to graduations, and have even provided sound advice as it pertains to life decisions. I share quality information that I’ve learned from them to others all the time. I believe that the support I’ve received and the skills I’ve learned from them has helped me to achieve great success in life. I truly appreciate my parents.
Lisa Marie Photography